Let me illustrate the brazilian problem with a quick look at prices of several things. These quotes are current (got them yesterday) and currency exchange has been the best in many years (meaning it's been cheaper than ever to buy things in the US). I'll convert all brazilian reais (local currency) to US dollar so as to make things easy:
1L Ilford Multigrade developer - $44.12 (B&H - $7.95 for the 500ml, say $16 for 1L)
1L Ilford Rapid Fixer - $43.5 (B&H - $9.95)
5L Ilford ID-11 - $57 (B&H - $9.95)
25 pack Ilford Multigrade RC VC paper (8x10'), glossy or matte! - $61.76 (B&H - $18)
Cheapest roll of Tri-X I've ever seen here - $17.67 each (B&H - $3.59)
Cheapest roll of Velvia 50 was scandalously cheaper than the Tri-X ($16.47)!! I guess this illustrates insanity..
Never mind equipment. Stores don't even carry new analogue equipment. They generally need to be special ordered and imported (Guess a price.. you're low.) Long live the awesome and bustling used market that floats around here!!
Any attempts to import through the mail will be squatted by a blanketing 50% tax rate over any order that is greater than $50 (here's the catch.. this include shipping cost!). There's also a special 6.5% tax on any purchase done in a foreign currency with a credit card. This is extra bonus though, not counted or discounted during import tax.
After writing this, I think I feel like curling in the fetal position and crying for a few hours.. excuse me..